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Chili peppers ONE OF THE WONDERS THAT CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS BROUGHT BACK FROM THE NEW WORLD IS THOUGHT TO BE THE MOST POPULAR SPICE WITH OVER 20% OF THE WORLDS' POPULATION USING IT IN SOME FORM OR ANOTHER BY

SANDRA MAYER

Chili peppers play an important role in the cuisines of many countries including India, Mexico, South America, Thailand, Spain, China and even Italy.

hey are long, round, red, orange, yellow or green, fresh, dried or crushed. They are fleshy, chewy and scorching hot. The heat of summer is nothing compared to their fieriness…but thanks to them the heat itself becomes more bearable. Chili peppers are the real thing! One of the wonders that Christopher Columbus brought back from the New World, chili peppers have been bred with different levels of the pungent compound capsaicin in them. This can vary from type to type, so some are much hotter than others.

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Mild and sweet bell peppers are cultivars of the species Capsicum annuum. They do not contain capsaicin. Mild and pungent paprika is made using these fruits. At the other end of the scale, Cayenne pepper is fiery hot. It is made with the ground seeds from cultivars of Capsicum frutescens. All hot peppers contain a natural substance that produces a burning sensation in the mouth, causing the eyes to water and the nose to run, and even induce perspiration. Which is a plus in hot climates as perspiration helps to cool the body. The chili pepper has no flavor or odor, but acts directly on the pain receptors in

the mouth, throat and eyes. It can also suppress the appetite but not thirst. So people eat less but continue to drink water. The hotness of a pepper is measured in Scoville Heat Units, named after the pharmacist Wilbur Scoville. In 1912 while working for the Parke Davis pharmaceutical company Scoville developed a method to calculate the heat level of the chili pepper. The Scoville Organoleptic Test is a dilution-taste procedure. In the original test, Scoville blended pure ground chili peppers with a sugarwater solution and a panel of testers then sipped the concoctions, in increasingly

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Devil hot toma cheese, Italian soft cheese, sunflower-oil, tomato, capers, chilly, oregano, salt, and vinegar.

An Italian specialty, spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino. One of the oldest ways to dress pasta was with raw oil and garlic. Later ingredients like chili peppers were added.

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diluted concentrations, until they reached the point at which the liquid no longer burned the mouth. A number was then assigned to each chili based on how much it needed to be diluted before you could taste no heat. A sweet pepper scores 0, a jalapeño pepper around 3,000 and a Mexican habanero a scorching 500,000. As a general rule, the larger the pepper, the milder it is. Small ones are much hotter because, proportionally, they contain more seeds, and these seeds contain up to 80% of the pepper’s capsaicin. The chili pepper is thought to be the most popular spice with over 20% of the worlds' population using it in some form or another. It plays an important role in the cuisines of many countries

including India, Mexico, South America, Thailand, Spain, China and even Italy where they found an ideal home in Calabria, Basilicata and Campania. On almost every terrace, you will see peppers hung out in the sun to dry. In Basilicata, for example, diavolicchio or “little devil” chilies are just one of four varieties of hot peppers that bring heat the local spicy cuisine. In Mexico there are more than 200 varieties, among which we find the fruit-flavored ancho chile, the fiery guajillo, and the smoky flavored pequín. It's hard to imagine modern cuisine without chili peppers, they are used to make a variety of byproducts, including chili paste,

Spicy Fruit Salad 400 gr. fresh strawberries - 1 banana, cubed - juice of 1 orange - 1 cucumber, cubed 1 orange, cubed - 1 tablespoon tamarind paste - 3 tablespoons sugar - chili pepper powder

Melt the tamarind paste in a tablespoon of warm water. Add the sugar and the juice of 1 orange. Mix well and add the fruit. Cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove 15 minutes before serving. Dust with the chili pepper powder…the more the spicier!

Chorizos are highly seasoned sausages flavored with garlic, chili powder and other spices. They are widely used in both Mexican and Spanish cookery.

Tabasco sauce, cayenne pepper, and flakes to season pizza or to savor olive oil, cold cuts, and cheeses. Used sparingly in a dish, crushed chili peppers behave much like salt or freshly ground black pepper; intensifying the flavors of the other ingredients, and providing a subtle base flavor against which the other flavors are heightened. The culinary mating of hot chilies and chocolate is not a recent trend, the Aztecs were the first to serve chocolate as a drink, but they also mixed it with hot chili pepper to make a really special beverage. Try something exotic with your hot chocolate today. You can always reduce the amount of chili if it's too hot for you. Or if you feel like something cool, try dusting some chili powder on a fresh fruit salad…it’s refreshingly hot.

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ONE OF THE WONDERS THAT CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS BROUGHT BACK FROM THE NEW WORLD IS THOUGHT TO BE THE MOST POPULAR SPICE WITH OVER 20% OF THE WO...

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